Kayaking is a great sport thats fun whether you're taking a relaxing trip paddling around the lake or going on a heart-pounding adventure through white water rapids. Whatever the case may be you should be aware of a few things before renting or buying a kayak. Read through this guide to make sure you have all the facts and can make an informed purchase.
Choosing a Kayak:
Before you start out on your kayaking adventure you want to be sure to pick out the right kayak for your trip. There are many different types and styles to choose from. Depending on your skill level and what you're planning on using it for, there's a perfect kayak out there for you. Be sure to pick out the right kind for the type of paddling you're going to be doing. There is no one type that's perfect in every situation, so read carefully.
- Buy for your skill level:
- Plastic Kayaks are great for those just starting out. They more easily will stay in the upright postiton the entire time.
- Go for a boat with initial stability. Kayaks that rock and sway when you're starting out will make you nervous more easily.
- Look for a boat with a wide seat that will be easier to get in and out of.
- Get a boat with good secondary stability, meaning while it may rock back and forth, it is unlikely to tip over.
- Experienced kayakers will probably want to tighter seating area. This makes it easier to perform an Eskimo Roll.
- Double or Single?
- Double Kayaks
- Great for family trips.
- Can pair an experienced kayaker with an inexperienced one.
- Don't get one unless you're sure you'll have somebody to paddle with.
- Single Kayaks
- These are better for those who are more experienced.
- Can be less stable than double kayaks.
- More manuverable and faster than double kayaks.
- Portability and Storage Capacity
- If you don't have a place to store it, you may want to go for the folding kayaks or inflatable over the hardshell.
- Think about what you're going to be bringing a long with you and make sure the kayak has enough storage space.
- If you're unable to transport it you'll never use it. Inflatable kayaks are the easiest to transport.
Here are a few of the major types, but keep in mind the world of kayaking has come a long way and there are may other choices beside these suggestions.
- Perfect for beginners or anyone looking get into kayaking, but not interested in serious paddling. Perfect for paddling in calm bodies of water, fishing , or bird watching . Can also handle easy whitewater and day trips near shore on larger more wavy bodies of water.
- Simplified hull shapes, which limits their performance and versatility.
- Some can be used to try advanced kayaking techniques.
- Typically 14-17 feet long and 22-25 inches wide.
- Ample onboard space to store gear.
- Great stability.
- Easy to handle.
- Recreational kayaks are slower then sea kayaks , and harder to turn than whitewater kayaks , but easier to paddle than either.
- More stable than a sea kayak and more performance than a recreational kayak .
- Good platform to learn more aggressive techniques that are not possible in a recreational kayak.
- Able to cover longer distances comfortably, and can be used in many of the same ways as recreational kayaks.
- Two to three feet longer than basic recreational boats .
- Less rocker makes them easy to keep in a straight line but difficult to turn.
- Wider and easier to use than a sea kayak .
- Great for a novice paddler who wants to sea kayak, but doesn’t need as much stability or maneuverability as a high performance sea kayak.
- Long slender boats that allow the user to travel long distances along a shoreline, or from one island to the next.
- Good in wide-open expanses of water, big waves, and high winds.
- They can be unstable and take time to get acquainted with.
- Boats come in a variety of constructions and prices.
- Plastic boats will start at $1200 , fiberglass boats around $2500 , and high end Kevlar boats as much as $3000 .
|Types of Sporting Kayaks|
Whitewater requires a more aggressive boat. The boats are designed to turn and maneuver. Paddling in a straight line is nearly impossible.
These are short flat-hulled, low-volume boats that allow the paddler to perform tricks on waves.
These boats need to be very durable to handle rocks, and other obstacles as the boat tears down-river.
In order to have a great kayaking experience, you'll need the proper equipment.